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Gov. Jerry Brown (D-Calif.); Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.); Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.); Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (R); Women in the World founder Tina Brown; columnist Kathleen Parker; Chuck Todd, NBC chief White House correspondent.

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Russia 39, Ukraine 24, Us 16, Crimea 13, U.s. 12, Syria 11, California 10, Marco Rubio 7, United States 7, America 7, Washington 6, John Kerry 6, Kerry 5, At&t 5, Obama 4, Nato 4, Arizona 4, Jerry Brown 4, Harry Smith 4, Rubio 3,
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  NBC    Meet the Press    Gov. Jerry Brown (D-Calif.); Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.);  
   Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.); Baltimore Mayor Stephanie...  

    March 2, 2014
    8:00 - 9:01am PST  

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from nbc news in washington, the world's longest running television program, this is "meet the press" with david gregory. >> and good sunday morning. one week later, the good will from the olympic games has been replaced by an international crisis as russia flexes its military might. how should president obama respond to a crucial test of his leadership after russia sent troops into the cry meania pensula, which is part of the ukraine? secretary of state john kerry calls it an invasion and ukraine has mobilized its army now. it is our top issue this morning. president obama spoking with president putin of russia on saturday after warning there will be costs should russia intervene. i'm joined this morning by the
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secretary of state john kerry, and exclusively by republican senator marco rubio of florida, a key voice on the senate foreign relations committee. also, a big moment in politics. the culture wars in america as arizona's governor vetoes a controversial bill that opponents labeled as anti-gay. how do we as a country reconcile concerns over religious freedom and civil liberties? we will analyze how this could play out in this midterm election year. plus no end in sight to california's an devastating drought. i will ask jerry brown about the effects. we want to begin with ukraine. the latest on the dramatic events in this crisis from nbc's bill neely in simferopol, the capital of the crimea. there's a real fear now that russia may try to annex the crimea. what's the latest on the ground there? >> well, david, i would have to say there has been a quiet but complete russian takeover of
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crimea. their troopses are guarding key buildings here in the capital. the latest is that several hundred russian troops have arrived at a ukrainian military base not far from here where there is now a confrontation. the russians are demanding the ukrainians lay down weapons and threatening force and a group of ukrainian guards are behind the gate looking frightened. it's not a confrontation at the minute but certainly a standoff. that's pretty typical. the russians, as you say, have certainly taken over this region of ukraine. >> bill neely on the ground for us in the area, thank you very much i'm now joined by secretary of state john kerry. welcome back to "meet the press." >> glad to be with you. thank you. >> for the past ten days, the administration officials and the president himself have basically said to russia don't do this or else. here just friday, the president laying it out when he spoke to vladimir putin. >> the united states will stand
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with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military interventioning in ukraine. >> now, you've called this an invasion. so what are the costs? >> well, we're now discussing all of the options. this is an act of aggression that is completely trumped up in terms of its pretext. it's really 19th century behavior in the 21st century and there's no way to start with that if russia persists in this, that the g-8 countries are going to assemble in sochi. that's a starter. but there's much more than that. russia has major investment and trade needs and desires. i think there's a unified view by all of the foreign ministers i talked with yesterday, all of the g-8 and more that they're simply going to isolate russia, they're not going to engage with russia in a normal business as usual manner, that russia is inviting the international
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stage. there could even be ultimately asset freezes, visa bans, there could be certainly disruption of any of the normal trade routine. and there could be business drawback on investment in the country. the oyfruble is already feeline impact of this and going down. the reason for this, david, is because you just don't invade another country on phony pretexts in order to assert your interests. there are ways -- there are ways to deal with this, and president putin knows that. president obama yesterday offered mediation. there are plenty of ways to protect russian-speaking people in crimea are 0 other parts of ukraine. but you know, they are really sort of a hidden pretext here of possibly trying to annex crimea. >> is there a military option? there is as you know a security arrangement with ukraine that goes back to the '90s between
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the u.s. and ukraine and other western here to try to check any further aggression beyond cry meetia into the eastern part of ukraine? >> well, nato is meeting today. the north atlantic council is meeting probably even as we speak now. they will be -- i know that secretary-general of nato rasmussen issued a very strong statement against what has happened. but i don't know what is actually on the table with respect to the steps they may or may not take. but they're deeply concerned. today or tomorrow, the european foreign affairs council will meet. they are very concerned about what has happened. we talked yesterday with japan, with others. this is a global concern because in the 21st century, countries have been working to establish a different kind of behavior as the norm. >> that i understand. i'm just trying to understand. i think a lot of people watching us are trying to understand how
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important is ukraine essentially to the united states. what's our interest there. >> is this worth fighting for literally? >> david, let me make it clear. the people of ukraine reply fighting for democracy, they're fighting for freedom. they're fighting to have their voices heard and not be governed by a clep tocracy, but a tyrant, by someone who puts a political opposition in jail, somebody who robs the country of its livelihood and future. and they spoke out againstçdbañ snipers from roofs who were killing them. they kept on marching, and fought for their freedom. now they have the opportunity for that are democracy, and by the way, president yanukovych's only supporters abandoned him. they voted0de against him. they impeached him so russia and president putin are aligning themselves firmly with this clep tocracy, aligning themselves with the person who was legitimate little stripped of
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his power by the parliament, even by his own supporters. i think this is an enormous mistake for russia and we hope, president obama hopes that president putin will turn in the direction that is available to him to work with all of us in a way that creates in ukraine. this does not have to be and should not be an east/west struggle. this is not about russia and the u.s. this is about the people of ukraine, and that's who needs to be front and center. >> i just want to clarify this. i mean, i gather by what you're saying you don't want to be too precise. is there a military option that has to be contemplated here? >> david, the last thing anybody wants is a military option in this kind of a situation. we want a peaceful resolution through the normal processes of international relations. but in the absence you have president putin making the right decision to work with the
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government of ukraine, to work with the west, to work with all of us, as i said a moment ago, this is not about the russia and the united states. it's about the people of ukraine. and we asked president putinton step back from being in violation of the u.n. charter, in violation of the helsinki final act, in violation of the 1997 russia, ukraine basing agreement. i mean, they are in direct overt violation of international law. >> can i just challenge you on one point. >> we asked them to step back. >> you say it's not about the u.s. and russia, but the reality is just wednesday, you told me ltclleague andrea mitchell that will vladimir putin said he would respect the territorial integrity of ukraine. now you're talking about russia annexing the crimea. something happened. i wonder as you hear some criticism from conservatives an that say the issue here is that vladimir putin's not afraid, that he saw a red line by this administration in syria and then no follow-up, no kz an, that he thinks that he can provoke the
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u.s. and the west and that president obama won't do anything in response. >> we, he's finding out the opposite. let me make it clear, president putin is not operating from a place of strength here. yanukovych was his you know supported president. yanukovych was thrown out. despite putin's support. yanukovych turned on his own people. president putin is using force in a completely inappropriate manner that will invite the world and it also already is. he is not going to gain by this. he may be able to have his troops for some period of time in crimea unless he resolves this, but the fact is, he's going to lose on the international stage, russia is going to lose, the russian people are going to lose. he's going to lose all of the glow that came out of the olympics. his $60 billion extravaganza. he is not going to have a an sochi g-8. he may not even remain in the
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g-8 if thisimlf with asset freezes on russian business, american business may pull back. there may be a further tumble of the ruble. there's a huge price to pay. the united states is united, russian is isolated. that is not a position of strength. >> two quick ones here as we extend. these difficulties with russia, occur blunt talk this morning also extends to syria where you've been very clear that russia's support for is assad in your words has allowed assad to the double down in his killing efforts of his opponent in this civil war. isn't it true, mr. secretary, that you support a more robust intervention into syria, that you would like to see some kind of military action to at least train those rebel fighters in syria? is it time for that, and has russia complicated the syrian effort? >> i support the president's policy and i support what the president is doing now reviewing
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all of the options as he has been continually with respect to the syria, david. the fact is, we are doing more than almost any other country. we're doing an enormous amount. and once again, russia is playing a very duplicitous game and very dangerous game. they proclaim that they are worried about the terrorists, worried about syria, worried about the impact on jordan and on lebanon and surrounding countries. and yet, they continue to support assad in a way that prevents him or helps him to make the decision not to the come to the table to negotiate. it's a completely contradictory and cynical policy. and i believe russia, you know, in the crimea and. syria is really engaging in activity that is completely contradictory to the standards that most of us are trying to operate by in the 21st century. certainly not behaving like a g-8 country. >> before i get to my final question on israel with a big
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meeting with benjamin netanyahu, the prime minister coming to meet with the president, marco rubio is saying it's time for the administration to publicly acknowledge the reset with russia is dead. do you acknowledge that? >> well, i don't know what you mean by the reset. >> the reset in relations that this administration called for. >> i know, but long ago, we've entered into a different phase with russia. i don't think this is a moment to be proclaiming one thing or the other. they've difficulties with russia with respect to certain issues and we've managed to do the start treaty. they've cooperated on afghanistan and iran. this is not a zero sum dead alive, it's a question of differences, very profound differences on certain issues. and certain approaches. and we've made those very clear over the course of the last months. >> with the regard to the israel, you've worked so hard on middle east peace as threatenia hugh comes to washington, is this a moment of truth for him? does he have to act for the
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peace process to be successful? >> well, everybody has to act, david. this isn't just a question or i an series of questions for prime minister netanyahu. he's been very courageous and he's made tough decisions with respect to entering into these negotiations and some of the things that he's indicated he's willing to do in the negotiations. it's also up to president abbas, the palestinians need to decide whether or not they're prepared to compromise, whether or not they're willing to do some of the things necessary. this is not a burden exclusive to one party or the other. so we expect to have a good conversation. i don't think it's some showdown or anything. this has been a very cooperative, very engaged process on a daily basis with both parties. and even while prime minister netanyahu will be here there week, there will be representatives of the platoons here too and we'll have some conversations with them. and hopefully over the next weeks, we can reach some kind of understanding about how to
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negotiate a final status agreement. >> mr. secretary, we always appreciate your time. thanks so much. >> thank you, david. >> now i want to turn to republican senator marco rubio of florida, a member of the senate foreign relations committee. senator, welcome back to the program. >> thank you, good prng. >> how did we get here. >> do you agree with om so of your colleagues who say it's the weakness of president obama and the united states right now that emboldened president putin of russia? >> i think our policy towards russia under this administration deserves heavy criticism. i usually shy away from that when it's important for the nation to speak with one voice. i'm enkirnlged which what i heard secretary kerry say a moment ago. there already things i would like to see us do in addition to the steps he outlined. as we look forward to our future relationship with russia, it's important to learn from the errors of the last few years. i think we have not accurate lit assessed clearly what it is russia's goals are under vladimir putin. they're not interested in
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building an international norm that nations conduct themselves under like what secretary kerry was describing a moment ago. they're interesting in reconstituting russian power and russian prestige. often at the expense of u.s. national interests. >> what do you do about that? because that was true under president bush, as well. who famously said that he thought he could the trust vladimir putin only to find out what he couldn't and then putin invaded separatist region of georgia and the u.s. didn't do much about it. isn't the same predicament here? you may know what putin wants to do, but what are you prepared to do in terms of the use of american power to stop it. >> first of all, i think previous administrations deserve criticism, as well with regards to clearly viewing what vladimir putin's goals are here. moving forward, if you look at secretary kerry a moment ago mentioned success with the start treaty. we know the russians have basically violated every major treaty they've entered into. we've seen how they've basically lied. they are lying and this government is a government of
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liars, the russian government. you see what's happening in crimea. you've got individuals showing up in unmarked uniforms wearing masks. clearly they're russian troops even though they refuse to acknowledge it. you're dealing with a government that lies as a matter, of course, and it's very difficult to enter an understanding with them on anything when they are willing to lie and cover things up in this way. >> you're saying as you did in a piece you wrote for politico that we've got to the use blunt talk. i ask you for blunt talk. is russia an enemy of the united states now? >> i think they're increasingly behaving like an enemy of international peace and norms. after the end of world war ii and through the cold war era, the spread of democracy and freedom and established norms for nations to interact with one another so we would never have another world war. under this president putin, russia does not seem interested in any of that. they are an enemy of that and an enemy of the united states with
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regard to those things i've outlined. if you look at the issues they've taken on issue of an issue, they've been an obstacle to u.s. national interest. >> the president said the we're watching and we want to make sure that will nobody crosses the line or there will be consequences. last sunday at this table, susan rice, national security advisor, said it would be a grave mistake for russia to invade the crimea. on friday the president says there will be a cost to intervention. what does it say to you that vladimir putin has ignored the united states for ten days? >> well, part of it is he's made a cost benefit analysis. he has weighed the costs of doing what he's done and the benefits. clearly he concluded the benefits far outweigh the costs. we need to change that calculus. i think secretary kerry outlined accurately enough one of our goals here needs to be to isolate russia, exact an extraordinary price to payen ot international front for them, for their ambitions, ultimately for individuals in that government and for their economy. the other part of this that's
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not receiving enough attention is the u.s. must convene our allies both in europe and through nato to strengthen the interim government in kiev to allow them to transition to a drake government, be able to hold their elections. that's critical, too. i think the next phase in this, perhaps you're seeing the outlines of it already are russians trying to undermine the government if kiev. >> do you think there is a military option for the united states ornate tote? in other words, do you advocate now going beyond what you just heard from secretary kerry, which was economic isolation, perhaps expelling russia from the g-particular sanctions to key russian officials and the like? >> i think if you're asking me whether the u.s. should be taking military strikes against russian troops and ukraine or in crimea, i would argue i don't think anyone is advocating to are are that. i am saying however that our nato alliance needs to be reinvigorated, is an important alliance. countries that neighbor ukraine, for example, are poland and
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others who had part of that alliance, we need to be providing them assurance hads of the importance of this alliance including perhaps -- we should revisit the missile missile defense shield we talked about so often. beyond that, i would say it's part of strengthening and stabilizing the government in kiev now so they can transition to stability down the road, as well, i think part of that should be strengthening their defense capabilities. i think this threat is a long-term one they're facing >> you've been focused on foreign policy challenges in venezuela. there are protests there against the government and a crackdown against protesters in the streets. what would like to see the administration do? >> first we need to clearly pronounce ourselves as more than just concerned about what's happening. we need to say clearly the united states and its people and its government are firmly on the side of the ambitions and desires, the rightful desires of the people in the streets, the students and young people protesting against violations. beyond that, i would like to see specific u.s. sanctions against
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individuals in the maduro government that are systematically participating in the violation of human rights and anti-drake actions. those would go a long way in that regard. >> i want to ask you a couple questions about politics here back home. one has to do with the big controversy out of arizona, a bill that was vetoed by the governor and the general concern than some conservatives in the party have that as gay rights rights advance specifically, that sometimes religious freedom in this country is being trampled on. is this a key issue for republicans, you think, in this election year? >> here's the key issue. on the one hand, i think americans the vast majority of conservatives are against discrimination, the notion that someone because they are gay would be denied service at a restaurant and so for the is the something americans don't support, conservatives don't support. the other side is imagine now if you are a southern baptist or catholic or evangelical photographer who does not believe in gay marriage and because of that you don't want
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to the provide services for a guy marriage. should you be sanctioned by the state for refusing to do so? that's what they endeavored to deal with arizona. i never read the law. as i said, we've been pretty busy this week on a number of fronts. the governor maybe felt that that law extended beyond that, but that is also a legitimate concern. it's one we're going to have to balance as this issue continues to unfold across the states here in america. >> you don't think this was an open and shut case? this was tough for you. you think the law had some merit without saying that you support it. >> i don't believe that gay americans should be denied services at a restaurant or hotel or anything of that nature. i don't believe however that a caterer or photographer should be punished by the state for refusing to provide services for a gay wedding because of their religious believes. we've got to figure out a way to the protect that, as well. >> i know you and others who are often talked about as presidential candidates in 2016 are trying to deal with the business at hand. there's a lot of speculation about your standing.
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i want to the read chris cillizza. no matter what rubio does now to placate conservativatives his opponents will i'm the voters of his involvement in legislation that provided a path for undocumented workers. while that may be a general republic point where republicans badly need to court hispanics, it's not likely to be popular in places like iowa and south carolina, two states that cast some of the earliest votes for president in 2016. are you damages goods because of your support for that's right immigration bill? >> i don't know. i certainly knew going into immigration reform that's not exactly sa the kind of issue you take on with regard to becoming politically popular among some segments. i would say the concerns conservatives have are legitimate ones. what i endeavor to do is try to find a solution to a real problem the country is confronting. i understand it's a difficult one. i knew that going in. i'll continue to do what's right
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for the country, what i believe to be right on issue of an issue and where that leads me politically, that's what elections are for and campaigns are for. but i'm not going to let the future of political considerations stop me from doing what i believe is right for the country or doing my job during my time in the senate. >> are you undeterred at this point? will you pursue the president is i in 2016? >> well, i haven't made that decision and i didn't come here this morning to make that announcement. that's something i'll consider later in the year, next year. as you know in 2016, pie term in the senate expires. i'll have a decision to make either way. i think our country's at an important crossroads on the international front and a domestic front. i'll have to think about whether from that role in the presidency i would be able to influence that in a positive way. >> senator rubio, a lot going on here internationally and in politics. thank you very much for your time this morning. >> thank you. >> so you just heard this talk from both secretary kerry and marco rubio. next our roundtable is here. more on this crucial test for
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presobama's leadership overseas and specifically in the ukraine and the culture war i mentioned with politics. how will the debates over freedom and religion and gay rights play into the 2014 campaign? andian rand paul is urging caution in the gop's fight with president obama. >> there are times when people are using language that shouldn't be used. i recently criticized someone for using some of that lock. i'm not going to bring it up, but i will say that we can disagree with the president without calling him names. >> "meet the press" is brought to you by boeing, where the drive to build something better inspires us every day. [ male announcer ] we know they're out there. you can't always see them. but it's our job to find them. the answers. the solutions. the innovations. all waiting to help us build something better. something more amazing. a safer, cleaner, brighter future. at boeing, that's what building something better is all about.
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♪ at boeing, that's what building something better is all about. so our business can be on at&t's network for $175 a month? yup. all 5 of you for $175. so oour clients need a on at&t's netwlot of attention.nth? there's unlimited talk and text. we're working deals all day. you get 10 gigabytes of data to share. what about expansion potential? add a line, anytime, for $15 a month. low dues, great terms. let's close! new at&t mobile share value plans our best value plans ever for business. we are back now to react to events in ukraine and discuss the big week in politics. i'm joined by the roundtable. our political director chuck todd, jeffrey goldberg from the atlantic magazine and stephanie
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rawlings-blake, the mayor of baltimore, tina brown, founder of the women in the world foundation, and nationally syndicated columnist from the "washington post" kathleen parker. welcome to all of you. this is a conversation about obama's leadership, pure and simple. this is a major test for whether the rest of the world, particularly bad actors, take him seriously when he says to not do something. chuck todd, "the washington post" editorial that i've been looking at this morning says this. it took vladimir putin less than a day to trample on president obama's warning against a russian military intervention in ukraine. the u.s. now faces a naked act of armed aggression in the center of europe by a russian regime that is signaling its intent to the steam roller this u.s. president and his allies, mr. obama must demonstrate that can't be done. and he said don't do it for ten days. >> this is not the first time with putin. he actions, obama warns. putin acts, obama warns.
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this is a pattern he can't afford to stay in here and just continue to warn. you heard john kerry more warnings. i've talked to some folks. there are some moves they could make and could make right now. they're not act of war moves. they are immediate economic sanctions. russia's largest banks are state owned banks. you could choke them economically in a hurry. the largest energy company is a pal of putin. just do it. just suspend it, be move, start the meeting. that was the sense that you're wondering why isn't the president out there saying okay, we have made these moves. he's done this. you know, it was before it was trying to play some diplomacy. but they've got this 24 hours and you hear john kerry with more warnings. they know he's got to act no more just issuing is harshly worded statements. >> tina brown, look, part of the bush era a lot of people recoiled against was the idea of talking tough and projecting
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american power as if somehow feeling better about that makes the world better. >> absolutely. there's no need to go off and be bellicose. now it's now what. marco rubio actually said haggle and kerry should go immediately to kiev. you think what then. you have to have this follow up. what i do think seems to keep outfoxing is obama is a real reading who putin is. it's almost as if putin is brilliant really. he's sort of outfoxing obama all the time. he's very clear. the reason he wins in a way, he's the only one who knows what he thinks. he's clear. he's clear he wants to increase russian power. >> he doesn't care what other people think. >> he doesn't care. we say he can't do that. that's not the way people in the real sophisticated foreign policy world behave. he's not that the guy. >> unfortunately it's not match.com. he's secure with who he is. >> he's a brutal, crude, cunning
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powerg, ruthless guy. >> and these, kathleen, these are issues that tend to overwhelm a presidency when he's fighting somebody like this on numerous fronts. >> i agree completely with intina. i think putin looked into obama's eyes and saw his soul. president obama doesn't like conflict at all. and you know, putin is, as i think john kerry said, he's clearly, no, i'm sorry. i disagree with kerry on this. he said you can't make this a u.s./russian chess game. i don't think you can say ta at all. i think our allies are clearly watching us. other nonfriendly people are looking at how we handle these things and obama has drawn the red line. he's moved back from that. putin sees that. he's weakening our position when he says there are going to be costs it's sort of like putting arms an kim bow and threatening time-out. this is a test for him. there are things he can doing immediately rather than these -- >> mayor, you have to be looking at this as a lotof people are.
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saybt's our real interest here, and no doubt, the president's making that calculation, as well, that americans are not going to be supportive of a tough line with russia over ukraine. >> i know you didn't ask me here for my foreign policy expertise. i look at this as an american who i think is in tune with the president. you said you know, that the president wants to avoid conflict. so do americans. that is why he was elected. he promised to get us out of foreign war boston we are exhausted. >> military conflict necessarily, i don't think that's an option. you have to be strong in what you say up front and then you can follow through. >> you take one step, you take another step and then you're going to find yourself in a place where you have to put up or shut up. yee want a president that's going to look at diplomacy and other options and not get us into we'll write a check our you know what doesn't want to cash. >> jeff goldberg, you've interviewed president obama, an interview that will appear later today. you asked him a question more broadly about how he's
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perceived. tell me about what that question was and then i've got a portion of the answer. >> right. what i asked him was, i was talking about the iranian nuclear program, one of his biggest foreign policy challenges. i said do you believe that the iranians still take your threat that all options are on the table, which is a euphemism for military force? do you believe they still take that threat seriously after you showed obviously reluctance last summer to strike at syria yar after it crossed his red line on chemical weapons. and he gave an answer. >> we'll put part of it on the screen because he says about syria, the process has moved more slowly than we would like the president tells you, but it is actually moved. and we've now seen 15 to 20% of those weapons on their way out of syria with a concrete schedule to get rid of the rest. that would not have happened had the iranians said obama's bluffing, he's not really willing to take a strike. if the russians had said don't worry about it, all those submarines that are floating
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around your coastline, that's all just for show, of course they took it seriously. he doesn't like the idea that people think he's weak. >> he argues very strenuously against it. he argues that the iranians are at the table because they fear him, they fear the consequences of violating the american will. he believes that and he told me this, he believes that iran is on the back foot in syria, that iran is fighting kind of a rear guard action to keep its only arab ally. this relates directly to the way the white house feels will ukraine. they don't see this as an advancing russia necessarily. they see this as russia trying to pick up the pieces of a few russian enclaves on its borders at all costs. they don't see a russia advancing in the world but trying to piece together what that it has left. >> so we're conflating a big political season that's beginning, chuck, with this international backdrop. but i do want to talk about the politics of the moment and this midterm year when you have this
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arizona controversy sparking as i asked senator rubio about, this balance between religious freedom and civil liberties, specifically gay rights that are advancing around the country. are the culture wars back in the midterms? >> well, democrats want the culture wars to be back. okaying? let's remember what these campaigns are about. democrats believe terry mcauliffe won because he was able to pick split women off particularly on issues of contraception and abortion in the state of virginia. if you look at some of the democrats that survived in 2010, michael bennett now running the democratic senate campaign committee he will tell you he won on the culture wars. yes, we're having a conversation. if the culture wars are back, democrats want them to be. this is how they're going to fight. they have the economic message but on the ground, what they're spending their money on, how they're targeting voters they want to create this divide because they know when the republican party essentially is split on a lot of these social
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issues. you have the evangelical wing of the party that is not moving the way the rest of the country is. i this i this is going to be a long-term problem for the republicans till they settle on. you can picture hugh this could be an issue in the presidential. as for midterms, i don't know if it's a huge problem for the republicans because of the nature of the electorate. democrats are trying very hard to make this an issue. >> in some of the red states where democratic senators are in trouble, there's a lot of the republican zaebment that says put the culture war aside. talk about obamacare. >> they've been listening to the pope i think who says calm down, these things matter but we don't have to talk about it all the time. >> the war on women is an equally offensive and not quite correct term but it's one that works for the democrats and, we to draw women away from the republican party. >> the reverse? there was a time the culture wars, republicans wanted to have the culture wars. >> do you agree with that?
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you're secretary of the dnc. go ahead. >> what i did say was quite significant was jan brewer's language when she vetoed the bill. her language almost dripped with disdain for the other side. she simply said, for the republican side even. the bill itself. she said i don't know of a single case where religious liberty was violated by this idea. and you know, he thought that that was very significant because you know you might have expected her to kind of give a little bit more on that. >> marco rubio wouldn't support it but he said we have to balance these things carefully. >> you have to balance be religious liberty and certain extreme cases and human life, the abortion issue is one thing. but i don't see how you come to terms with the idea that you can discriminate people because of who they are. >> on balance, i think the lgbt community would be better off, save the weather. we can't promise you the weather
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but better off in baltimore. i'm more than happy to welcome them. it's a much dprendlier place. it burns me up to know that a community that haszsr given so much, particularly for the democratic party, is under siege. it's 2014. i feel like people should just get on with it and get over it. and we have a great lgbt community in bal more. i did the first lgbt the same-sex marriage in the state right after knew year's, and you know, there's no war going on in baltimore. >> jeff goldberg, before you spend a lot of time covering foreign affairs you were covering politics. five years since the tea party started. here's rand paul, a 2016 contender with a message for his party be careful how you're conducting yourself. he spoke this week. >> in order for us to be a bigger party though, we have to reach out to more people. not just those of us here. it has to be a bigger party. it has to be bigger movement. there are had times and i don't think it is our movement but
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there are times when people are using language that shouldn't be used. i recently criticized someone for using some of that language and i'm not going to bring it up, but i will say that we can disagree with the president without calling had imnames. >> okay. this is a -- cluck just said he did call bill clinton a sexual predator but aside from that. >> he wasn't calling names that day. that's different. >> it's interesting positioning. >> it is interesting positioning, but he's fighting again, talking about rear guard action. he's fighting a party -- you asked marco rubio himself. the reason he may not be a serious contender is because he's alienated a right wing base on a matter of immense political concern for the future of the republican party, bringing in hispanic voters. i mean, obviously if you're a gay or lesbian person in america and looking at what happened in arizona, you're thinking maybe that party is not the one for me. i mean, serially they're alienating different constituencies and certainly alienating younger people who have much different at that
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timitudes towards it. one small -- i wasn't going to call it a suicide mission. it seems like a suicide mission if you're trying to be a national party. the one small intervention is you know, in the '50s and '60s, a lot of people used theological arguments to argue against absentgration. let's not forget that. history is not working on their side here. >> let me take a break. more with our roundtable a little bit later. coming up, i'm going doing ask can governor jerry brown of california about a hot button political issue, whether it's time to fully legalize marijuana in america's biggest state. interesting answer when we come backing >> "meet the press" is brought to you by mo predicting the future is a pretty difficult thing to do. but, manufacturing in the united states means advanced technology. we learned that technology allows us to be craft oriented. no one's losing their job. there's no beer robot that has suddenly chased them out. the technology is actually creating new jobs.
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siemens designed and built the right tools and resources to get the job done. now to california where you would have thought the rain 0 would be welcome after the record drought that left the state bone dry. right now, the strongest storms to hit the state in several years have caused mud slides, evacuations and power outtages.
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i want to the turn to california governor jerry brown who also announced his bid for an unprecedented fourth term. welcome back to "meet the press." >> well, thank you. >> it's a big fight for hollywood of course, but you're dealing with something far bigger. that is a storm that's hitting the state. taking the state by storm. but is it enough to really deal a blow to the drought which has been such a huge issue for california? >> no, not at all. this is the driest period since records have been kept going way back to around 1850. and the terrible thing is not only is it dry, but because of the dryness last year, and the forest fires, there's flooding now. and there's mud slides. so you get hit a number of ways. but it just is a portent of very difficult and extreme weather that we are facing into the future. >> as a western governor and a governor of, as you say, one of the most populace states in the country, i wanted to get your
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views on the big politics of the day. you're running for your fourth term as governor. you're very popular. you took a state a lot of people felt was ungovernable, chiefly because of the budget deficit and now there's a surplus. is there a national leadership lesson that california provide? >> you've got to be tough on spending. at the end of the day, fiscal discipline is the fundamental predicate of a free society. and you just have to maintain that. secondly, you do have to find a way to create a governing consensus or coalition. in california, we do have a majority democratic party. and we don't have the any constitutional blocking points like the 60-vote requirement in the senate or the division of parties in the house between the house and the senate. >> it is interesting, is there a lesson for president obama no matter how liberal you are, you said, here the president's about to present a budget where he's saying look, the deficits are
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coming down for now. we've got to spend more. we're only going to get the economy going in a meaningful way if we spend more on infrastructure and the loo i can. >> yeah, spend more but in the framework of adjusting your long-term liabilities so we're in balance. so that's not inconsistent. you can invest and create jobs but over the long-term, your revenue has to meet your liabilities. that's not the case today. >> it's interesting as you look back on the grand sweep of your career, an interesting piece on friday in the "washington post," and this was the headline, in california, governor moon beam goes mainstream. over a 40-year political career, how have you changed? >> i'm just reviewing my transcript from "meet the press" in 1975. i find a lot of similarities. there i was talking about limits, i'm still talking about limits but also talking about full employment and equality. so the i changed. a, i'm 40 years older.
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two, i've done a lot of things. and i've learned a lot of things. so i'm older and wiser. but i'm just as energetic and i'd have to say just as ambitious. >> you've seen. arizona big debate this week over freedom of religion but also the specter of discrimination against gays and lesbians because of the bill that was ultimately vetoed by the governor there. are the culture wars rearing their head again whether it's about religion or gay rights or abortion, contraception in this election year? >> they might. i can tell you if you ask me how things have changed, 40 years ago, one couldn't even talk about gay rights. it wasn't the word didn't even exist then. and that an has changed. the same thing with immigration. we had a governor that was elected basically to keep undocumented people in their place and get them out of the state. today, we have drivers licenses for the undocumented. we have the d.r.e.a.m. act. so there is evolution. >> 40 years ago, we weren't
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talking about legalizing marijuana in states either. is that a good or bad idea for california. >> we have medical marijuana which gets very close to what they have in colorado and washington. i really like those twos states to show us how it's going to work. the problem with anything a certain amount is okay. but there is a tendency to go to extremes. and all of a sudden, if there's advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation? world's pretty dangerous. very competitive. i think we needed to stay alert. it's not 24 hours a day, more than some of the pot heads might be able to put together. >> as a tv guide i know a good sound bite when i've heard one. i think i heard one. i want to ask you about the national political picture for the democratic party. you've gone against the clinton machine in '92. does anything stop hillary clinton in 2016? >> i can't see it. the clinton machine was strong, obviously, it won.
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hillary's a heck of a lot stronger. she's got more experience both domestic and international. i mean it's her nomination if she wants it as far as i'm concerned. >> governor jerry brown, thanks so much for your time. i appreciate it. >> thank you. real quick, chuck, quite an answer there on marijuana. >> it is. it's actually a similar answer you've heard from some other democrats that have been saying it. everybody just assumes this is a straight democrat versus republican issue, but you know, obviously from a state -- by the way, california, he's. >> reez right. >> i vet very quiet. >> the premartini lunch was invented during the cold war. >> you don't want everybody stoned when the russians invade crimea. >> we're going to take another break here. we're coming up next on the day of the academy awards, harry smith meets the screen writer of 1 years a slave" who explains the importance of confronting the pain of america's past. the importance of confronting the p[ male announcer ]ast. at northrop grumman, we've always been on the forefront of innovation.
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new at&t mobile share value plans our best value plans ever for business. on friday, i spoke with democratic congressman chaka fattah of pennsylvania about president obama's new initiative "my brother's keeper," part of our ten-question series at "meet the press."com. we're back in a moment here with a special look at "12 years a slave" on this day is built for business.
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g we live in an uber connected, hyper documented, social media savvy and totally technologically enhanced world. and it's important for you to be the first to talk with your kids about the internet. you'll help them be responsible online... the more you know. the movie world is gathering in hollywood for tonight's oscar ceremony. one of the favorites to win best picture is the "12 years a slave," the story of an african-american man who was sold into slavery in the mid-19th century. harry smith now explores how america's ugly history around race still resonates in our modern day politics. >> slavery is an american sin for which there is probably no forgiveness. its sheer cruelty made manifest in steve mcqueen's film which has won nine oscar nominations. >> i said come here.
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>> i brought her back. >> it's the true story of solomon, a free black man who was tricked, then sold into slavery. northrop wrote a book about it, a bet seller in 153. turning that book na a screenplay was the job of now os koor nominated writer john ridley. >> i read it. i thought the way that he wrote, the elevated nature, the clarity of detail, the lack of bitterness, the lack of hatred that he spoke with about the circumstance with absolutely phenomenal. >> my back is thick with scars for protesting our freedom. >> his story filled gaps in ridley's own understanding of history. >> but you start to realize how little we as americans really know about this aspect of history and how it affected all of us. you know, certainly people of color, slaves, no pun intended, got the bad end of the stick. >> any more, i'll earn you 100
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lashes. >> collective consent where what's evil becomes ordinary. the film shows that in a way rarely seen on screen. >> i've gotten really emotional. you go to screenings and people walk out and want to hug you, they want to shake your hand. >> as powerful as the film may be, some like talk show host tavis smiley were left with a feeling of frustration. >> tears i think are important. it's important that we like our jewish brothers and sisters never forget, but what does that have to do with what we're doing in realtime to value the lives of black men, of black boys and black people at large? >> smiley believes the present and the past are the inextricably linked. >> strip your clothes. >> all these years after "12 years a slave," the fact that we still have in this country an intractable issue like racism even in the era of the nation's first black president, it's a shame.
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and a disgrace for all of us. >> reporter: but if "12 years a slave" moves people even a single step says ridley, that's important. >> i want to live. >> my hope is that people will come out of this theater moved and not decent sized but sensitized and say if i feel that way about a film, that way about a story that happened back then, how should i feel about what's going on in the world right now? >> for "meet the press," harry smith, nbc news. going to be a big night tonight. is this winner tonight for best picture? >> sounds like it. i'm behind in my movie viewing. from what i've just seen, i wouldn't be surprised. >> i didn't predict the invasion of crimea but i think this is going to win. >> there was such a lot of expectation that lincoln was going to win last year. sometimes it is a grueling movie and a very painful and harsh movie. and the only thing that could happen is that "gravity" gets it
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because people just enjoyed it. >> it's a powerful movie, but i would vote for house of cards. >> "american hustle" based on abscam. >> a great year for movies. >> it really was. you could see that will hollywood is more interested in writing about history again and some things. kind of nice. >> also, your interview with president obama on bloomberg view as of 2:00 p.m., a lot on the middle east and syria. thank you all very much. that's all for us today. we'll be back next week. if it's sunday, it's "meet the we'll be back next week. if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com
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♪ when you get closer to the action, and closer to the moments that matter. you get closer to the sports you love. nbc sports network. hockey day in america begins appropriately in our nation's capital where the washington capitals take to the home ice with a sunday matchup with the long-rival, the flyers. they are in a competitive race. joe is with john carlson. >> you have had an excellent year, and you're better since the olympic break. wh